Interview: Jason Korsiak (Director/Writer of Freddy’s Return: A Nightmare Reborn)

Directed & written by Jason Krosiak who also plays the adult Freddy Kruger, Freddy’s Return: A Nightmare Reborn is a fan-made movie & not part of the official series cannon. It was released in 2009 after taking 7 years to make & is set between the events of A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child & Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.

We’re huge fans of the series so we’re very excited to see just what the movie had to offer & you can read out review of it here.

As well as reviews of every A Nightmare on Elm Street Film to date.

A Nightmare on Elm Street
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
Freddy vs. Jason
A Nightmare on Elm Street – Remake

Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life are very proud to bring you an interview with Jason Korsiak.

Firstly we’d like to thank you for taking the time to speak with us. To say we were surprised & very excited to see A Nightmare Reborn is an understatement.

Thank you so much for reaching out to me! I really appreciate the support and am glad you like it!

1. Tell us a little about your history with the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise & what do you think it is about the series that makes it so appealing to horror fans?

When I was five, my parents rented the first film and decided to watch it after putting me to bed. Unbeknownst to them, I snuck out of bed and hid behind their lounge chairs and watched it with them. I was both terrified and fascinated, and the film inspired a number of Freddy nightmares of my own (some of which are recreated in Freddy’s Return). My parents had a unique approach to getting me over my fear of Freddy; they let me watch the movies as much as I wanted until I wasn’t afraid. It was 1988 and Dream Master was coming out, so they also had me watch a behind-the-scenes special. This showed me that Freddy was just an actor in makeup but also how films were made. That’s what motivated me to make movies too.

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I think what keeps fans coming back is a combination of creativity and depth. Nightmare films have so much subtext and speak to themes that are still relevant. Themes like sexual identity, suicide, drug dependence, unplanned pregnancy, and child abuse, just to name a few. The clothes are different and the hair isn’t as big, but we can still see ourselves in many of these characters today. I also think fans are drawn to the concept and the visuals it invites. You’re not going to get blood geysers shooting out of beds, being turned into a bug, or being sucked into a comic book in your average horror flick. Couple that with Robert Englund’s performance as one of the most memorable villains in cinema history and it’s easy to see why we haven’t pulled a Nancy and turned our backs on Freddy just yet.

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2. What prompted you to make this movie? 7 years is a long time!

I started writing the script in April 2002. It might be surprising, but the movie was actually my reaction to 9/11. It was a traumatic event which raised questions about why bad things happen and challenged us to find hope in hopeless circumstances. I had been reading the “official” Freddy timeline and saw that he was arrested while terrorising a 5 year old named Kevin Marks. I couldn’t find any information about Kevin, but was struck by the idea of a kid who was tortured by Freddy and had to deal with that. He would probably have nightmares about Freddy for the rest of his life, but it wouldn’t be Freddy as we know him; rather, it would be the memory of what Freddy did to him.

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Kevin became my conduit to explore themes like trauma and survivor’s guilt. I’d always wanted to make a Freddy movie, but the right story never fell into place until then, and once a story gets in my head that’s it. For example, not to plug my other work, but I just published a macabre storybook for adults on Amazon called Marvin Mac’s Bad Day. I had the idea for that when I was 9. Ten years ago I decided I wanted to develop it into a proper storybook. It took me a decade, but I finally got around to it. That’s just how I am; I commit to the long game.

3. Considering how much of a parody Freddy Kruger has become in the public eye, how did you get the balance of sinister & comedy (the puns) so right here?

Thank you so much for that compliment! One of the things I did in the scripting process was review Freddy’s lines and delivery in each film, studying what worked and what didn’t. I even wrote down every line of dialogue he said and created a word bank to build my lines from. The most important part of understanding that melody helped me to know what “notes” to hit harder and with more intensity. Robert’s performance isn’t the words, though, it’s his cadence. There is a melody to how Freddy speaks. Understanding that melody helped me to know what “notes” to hit harder and with more intensity.

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Freddy enjoys what he does. It’s how he gets his kicks, being in control of his world and rendering his victims helpless, so my feeling was that the delivery should be sadistic and vicious and to allow the humor to come from the irony and shock rather than the jokes themselves.

4. Did you run into any difficulties with the studios who own the rights to the franchise?

The only problem I’ve run into is over the music. Half of the score is original, but the other half came from Nightmare films and other sources. As of this writing, there are 6 copyright claims against the movie over music on YouTube. Currently, we’re working on a special edition of the film. It will have new and deleted scenes, updated effects, a tighter pace, and a completely original score. Hopefully that will remedy the problem while also providing a more polished, professional-quality presentation for everyone.

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5. Will we ever see a sequel to A Nightmare Reborn?

The plan was always for there to be two movies. The goal for the first movie was to free Freddy from his mother and resolve her story so that she would no longer be in the picture to get in his way. The goal for the second is to set the stage for the ten-year reign of terror we open on in Freddy’s Dead.

Fans treat 3, 4, and 5 as a trilogy within the series, and this would be it’s own trilogy: Freddy’s Return, it’s sequel, and Freddy’s Dead. Whether or not it happens will depend on how well-received the new edition of Freddy’s Return is, if the necessary actors come back, and if we can raise the funds. Freddy’s Return (counting the new edition) has cost in the ballpark of $7,000. It was largely self-funded apart from the help of some loving friends and family members. It’s a huge undertaking to make a movie like this. So we likely won’t move forward unless the stars align, but the story is there and I definitely would love to tell it!

We’ve got to ask…what did you think of the remake in 2010 & do you have a particular favourite film?

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The remake has some things going for it. I love the score by Steve Jablonsky and the idea of micro naps. I even like the climax, where we learn Freddy’s goal is to trap Nancy in the dreamworld with him forever. That was something we hadn’t seen him do before. That said, the film was made by people who didn’t want to be there and it shows in how safe and flat it is. Just compare Tina’s death to Kris’. One is filled with emotion and shock, the other is a very nicely composed shot of a CGI slash effect, without ever evoking any real feelings whatsoever. The original did more with $1.8 million than the remake did on $35 million. It had way more heart and character. I do think Haley gets too much criticism, though. He did fine considering the script, makeup, and direction he was given.

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Dream Warriors is my favourite. It had the strongest, best developed characters, was the most inventive, had the emotional punch of killing a hero in a noble way, and added to the mythology by including the nun, the backstory of the asylum, and the idea that Freddy is taking his victim’s souls. It’s an example of what a perfect sequel should accomplish; everything we loved from the first was there, but it pushed it all forward and enriched the mythos.

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Thank you so much for your time. As horror movie fans we love to see passion projects come to life.

Thanks again for reaching out! Looking forward to the review.

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